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Accreditation for Leadership

September 27, 2023

8:30 - 9:20 AM

Room 2

Room 2

About the Presenter(s)
Accreditation for Leadership

Jeffrey Smythe

Director, NC Criminal Justice Education & Standards, NC DOJ

Accreditation for Leadership

Karen Ashley

NCLEA Program Manager

Jeffrey Smythe is the Director of the Criminal Justice Standards Division for the State of North Carolina. He has served in this capacity since August 2021. The Division performs regulatory work on behalf of the 35-member Criminal Justice Education and Training Standards Commission certifying training academies, instructors, correctional officers, and police officers across the state and maintaining the highest ethical standards for all personnel. The Division also manages the North Carolina Law Enforcement Accreditation Program.

Prior to his appointment by Attorney General Josh Stein, Director Smythe served honorably for 35 years in law enforcement which included serving as the Chief of Police for the Burlington (NC) Police Department for eight years and the Chief of Police for the Show Low (AZ) Police Department for five years. His additional police experience includes three years with the Arizona State University Police Department and 19 years with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department.

Director Smythe has an extensive background related to accreditation having been the Accreditation Manager for the Initial Accreditation of the Scottsdale PD in 1991, the Chief when Show Low PD was accredited the first time, a CALEA assessor for a period, and has been a CALEA Commissioner for 6 years. He is a member of both the NC Law Enforcement Accreditation Network and AccredNet, the national association of state-based accrediting bodies.

Karen Ashley grew up in upstate New York and attended SUNY Cortland before transferring to Arizona
State University where she majored in education. Ashley graduated with a bachelor’s degree from ASU
and served with the Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Peoria Police Departments. She promoted through the ranks
at the Peoria Police Department and was named Deputy Police Chief in 2000. After retiring in 2007,
Ashley worked for the Arizona Department of Homeland Security for two years as the agency’s Deputy
Director, and then spent eleven years with the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office serving as the
agency’s Chief of Investigations. The majority of her law enforcement career she was involved with
CALEA and accreditation programs. Chief Ashley helped to draft the Arizona Law Enforcement
Accreditation Program before she retired from full-time public safety and moved to Charlotte to be
closer to family. Ashley began her career with NCDOJ in August of 2022 as the North Carolina Law
Enforcement Accreditation (NCLEA) Program Manager. She holds a master’s degree in educational
leadership from Northern Arizona University, is a graduate of The Rocky Mountain Leadership Program
and the FBI National Academy.

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